Effective Teaching & Learning Dr. Jennifer Irwin EDU 620: Module 10 Chapters 7 & 9
I know what to teach, now how do I teach it? Have you ever had a teacher who knew their subject area very well but didn’t know how to teach it to others? When you completed the first Learning Reflection for this class, you were asked “is content knowledge enough”? I hope by now that you know the answer to that question . . . No!
In this module, we will explore ideas that will help you as you plan for instruction, including: – Different instructional approaches – Effective use of discussions & questioning – Grouping techniques – The QAIT Model
Think about this … New teachers usually “teach” the way they were “taught” – Do you agree with this statement? – For me personally, this was very true. When I first began, my bag of teaching tricks was limited to lectures, worksheets, and tests (how sad!) – Through hands-on experience and having great mentors, I have become a much more effective teacher (I hope!).
Different Instructional Approaches What is the best way to teach something? What are some different ways to teach? Do we need to vary our approaches based on our students or the subject matter? We will take a look at 3 different types of teaching approaches…. I will leave it up to you to decide on the effectiveness of each…..
Expository Approaches Expository means that students are “exposed” to learning Examples: – Lecture – Mastery learning – Direct instruction – I don’t think I need to define lecture, so …
Expository Approaches Mastery learning: – Students demonstrate mastery of one topic before proceeding to the next
Expository Approaches Direct Instruction: – Teacher transmits information directly to students; lessons are goal-oriented and structured by the teacher – To me, this is classic “teaching” – Scaffolding at it’s best! – The “I do, We do, You do” method – How many of you teach this way?
Hands-On Approaches Hands-on approaches have students actually doing something Examples: – Discovery Learning – Experiential Learning – Authentic Activities – See the Constructivism module for more info
Hands-On Approaches Discovery Learning: a constructivist approach to teaching in which students are encouraged to discover principles for themselves.
Hands-On Approaches Experiential Learning: “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb, 1984)
Hands-On Approaches Authentic Activities: promoting meaningful connections between subject matter and real- world connections – Anything you do that helps students make this connection
Interactive/Collaborative Approaches Interactive/Collaborative approaches are ones in which students work together and utilize collective “brain power” to learn material. Examples: – Cooperative Learning – Reciprocal Teaching
Interactive/Collaborative Approaches Cooperative Learning: students working From our very own together in textbook author, heterogeneous Robert Slavin groupsKeep in mind that students must be taught how to work cooperatively!
Interactive/Collaborative Approaches Reciprocal Teaching: small-group teaching method based on question generation through instruction and modeling (often used when reading material) (Palinscar & Brown, 1984)
Let’s reflect …. Which of the 3 general approaches do you currently use (or would use)? Is one approach more effective than another? Or do you think that there is a time and place for all of these instructional approaches?
Effective use of discussions & questioning One of the best teaching methods has to be the effective use of class discussions and questioning techniques. Whole group v. Small group discussions … – Which is most effective? – Again, is there a time and place for both?
Wait Time A very important aspect of questioning … Wait Time (waiting about 3-5 seconds after asking a question to get a student’s response) This give everyone time to formulate a response to the question, and not just those who process faster! There is much research supportfor the effectiveness of wait time …
Wait Time Changes in teacher behavior: – Comments more fluent – Discussion more logical – More higher-level questions – Higher expectations of studentsSource: Sadker & Sadker Teachers, Schools, & Society
Wait Time Changes in student behavior: – Longer responses – Statements supported with evidence – Speculative thinking increases – More student questions – Fewer failures to respond – More student participation – Fewer discipline problems – Better performance on higher-level thinking skillsSource: Sadker & Sadker Teachers, Schools, & Society
Grouping Techniques So far, we have talked about cooperative learning and whole/small group discussions … what is the best way to group students? – Homogenously (same ability level) – Heterogeneously (different ability levels) – We must be careful, however, to avoid “tracking” (where year after year some kids end up in the bottom groups/classes) … remember what we’ve said about teacher expectations!
The QAIT Model (Slavin, 1987) “a model of effective instruction that focuses on elements teachers can directly control: quality, appropriateness, incentive, and time” (see chapter 9 for more info) This model reminds me of the “Serenity Prayer” – ... grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference … – More than once, these thoughts have gotten me through a rough day of teaching!!
What you usually cannot control QWhat you ACAN control! I T
Last thoughts … As you think about these different methods of instruction, discussions, questioning, and grouping … I hope that you are seeing two things: 1. Each idea presented here is effective in some way and for some purposes 2. You need to have a variety of ideas in your teaching Bag O’ Tricks!